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Nutrition educators, practitioners and researchers have a limited understanding about what D&I science is, which hinders their usage and potentially is the cause for many implementation challenges nutrition interventions cite. To increase use, nutrition-specific D&I training is needed.
The purpose of this research study was to determine how nutrition educators’ attitudes, behavioral control, and normative beliefs influenced their intention to use D&I science in their professional practice to best develop and formulate a nutrition-specific D&I training.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Using the Theory of Planned Behavior, participants recruited from the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior directory were qualitatively asked to report perceptions of and intentions to use D&I science through an online survey.
Thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Coding occurred in NVivo with some codes guided by TPB and the remainder based on subjective assessment of the content.
Seventy participants responded to the mixed methods survey. Responses continuously described that D&I science is foundational (normative belief) to provide nutrition evidence-based interventions. However, expectation to use D&I among respondents was negatively influenced by low motivational beliefs or attitudes, and lack of organizational structure and support. Another common theme that highly influenced intention to use and expectations among respondents was misconception (i.e., difference between intervention science, behavioral science, and implementation science) and lack of knowledge, skills, and abilities to use D&I science for nutrition interventions.
Attitudes and motivations, normative beliefs and expectations, and self-efficacy reported influencing intention to use, which aligns with predictions from the TPB, with knowledge more essential than others. Future trainings should focus on increasing knowledge and abilities through evidence-based teaching strategies such as application and experience-based learning to create more D&I experts in nutrition to address implementation outcomes for nutrition intervention science.
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc.